Former NYSE president gives the inside story behind Bullish's $9 billion SPAC deal

Episode 39 of Season 3 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Former NYSE President and Incoming CEO of Bullish, Tom Farley.

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Tom Farley, in many respects, was early to crypto. 

The 45-year-old — who is best known for his time as the head of the New York Stock Exchange — vividly recalls a conversation with early Coinbase employee Dan Romero, who connected him Coinbase co-founder and fellow Duke alumnus, Fred Ersham. 

"So I met with Fred and was blown away by what they were doing and agreed to put ten million dollars on behalf of the New York Stock Exchange into Coinbase," Farley said on the most recent episode of The Scoop. He made that investment in 2013. 

Fast forward to 2021: Farley has officially gone full crypto, announcing last week that he would join EOS-backed crypto exchange Bullish as its CEO following the completion of a SPAC deal that would merge the company with Far Peak, the SPAC company Farley joined after his tenure at NYSE.

On this episode of The Scoop, Farley joins The Scoop's Frank Chaparro to discuss the deal, which is expected to be valued at a whopping $9 billion. Farley will enter a crowded market with well-placed competitors like Coinbase, which recently went public at a valuation above $50 billion. Bullish aims to win over clients with a blended market structure that borrows from the DeFi world and centralized exchange space, Farley explained. 

“Bullish is really tipping our hat to the successful use of liquidity pools and automated market makers, and it's combining them with a CeFi market structure," Farley said. "And so each pair not only will be underpinned by the liquidity pool, but we will also accept bids and offers from third parties and we’ll allow third parties to cancel bids and offers. So in that respect, we will look much like a traditional CeFi."

Farley also unpacks:

  • His journey into the crypto Rabbit hole
  • The inside story on how the Far Peak/Bullish deal executed
  • The benefits and drawbacks of going public via a SPAC 
  • How SPAC projections can be problematic for investors 
  • Bullish's blended market structure and the benefits automated market makers add to an exchange platform

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